From the news

Valencia Wednesday Preview

  • dst
  • 04 November 2009
  • 11:11

No. 4 seed Fernando Verdasco, who captured his first ATP World Tour title in Valencia five years ago, plays countryman and wild card Oscar Hernandez in the first round Wednesday at the Valencia Open 500. Verdasco is battling for one of two remaining positions in the year-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, which begins Nov. 22. Verdasco-Hernandez is one of five singles matches on Pista Agora. The first match of the day is a second round clash between No. 5 seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon, who reached the final in 2006, and Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. In the third match, Russian Mikhail Youzhny takes on No. 3 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France followed by Spaniards Alberto Martin and Feliciano Lopez. Verdasco and Hernandez follow in another all-Spanish first round contest. In the last match of the day, No. 6 seeded Gael Monfils of France meets Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez with the winner advancing to the quarter-finals.

Pista Agora

(5) Gilles Simon (FRA) vs Tomas Berdych (CZE) Simon Leads 3-2
06 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Gilles Simon 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-2
06 ATP Masters Series Monte Carlo  Clay R32 Gilles Simon 7-6(2) 6-7(5) 6-4
08 Sydney (Australia) Hard R16 Tomas Berdych 7-6(3) 6-2
09 CZE vs. FRA WG 1st RD (Czech Rep)Carpet RR Tomas Berdych 7-6(3)  4-6 7-6(2)  6-3
09 ATP Masters 1000 Shanghai  Hard R16 Gilles Simon 6-3 6-4

Simon FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Bangkok (d Troicki); SF: Marseille (l Llodra); Dubai (l Djokovic); Lyon (l Llodra); QF: Australian Open (l Nadal); Estoril (l Montanes); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 43-27
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: December 27, 1984
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 12

• Simon, 24, the No. 2 Frenchman (behind No. 9 Tsonga) is making his third trip to Valencia (5-2 record) - best result was runner-up finish in 2006 (l. to Almagro); in 1st Rd. Tuesday, beat Igor Kunitsyn 63 62
• He captured his sixth career ATP World Tour title in Bangkok (d. Troicki, first title in Asia) last month
• He has a 43-27 record this year, including 32-13 on hard
• Has also reached three SF, at Marseille (l. to Llodra), Dubai (l. to Djokovic) and Lyon (l. to Llodra)
• Has also reached four QF, incl. Australian Open (l. to Nadal) and ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events at Cincinnati and Shanghai (l. to Djokovic both times)
• In March, made his Davis Cup debut against the Czech Republic and lost to Berdych in the opening rubber and to Stepanek in the fourth rubber, which clinched tie...Of seven sets played, lost four TBs

Berdych FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Munich (d Youzhny); QF: Washington (l Isner); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Cincinnati (l Nadal); Kuala Lumpur (l Soderling); Tokyo (l Youzhny)
YTD W-L: 35-23
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: September 17, 1985
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 19

• Berdych, 24, is making his first appearance in Valencia; in 1st Rd. Monday he defeated Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 63 64
• The No. 2 player from the Czech Republic (behind No. 14 Stepanek) has a 35-23 match record on the season (21-15 on hard)
• He has reached five ATP World Tour quarter-finals (or better) this season…In May, he captured his fifth career ATP World Tour title in Munich on clay (d. Youzhny)
• In September he helped his native country to its first Davis Cup final (vs. Spain) in 29 years by defeating Croatia in the semi-finals…He won the second rubber over Marin Cilic in five sets

Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) vs (3) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) Tsonga Leads 2-0
08 Australian Open (Australia) Hard QF Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 6-0 7-6(6)
09 Tokyo (Japan) Hard F Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-3 6-3

Youzhny FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Moscow (d Tipsarevic); F: Munich (l Berdych); Tokyo (l Tsonga); SF: Kitzbühel (l Garcia-Lopez); QF: Rotterdam (l Ancic); Marseille (l Llodra); London / Queen's Club (l Blake); Kuala Lumpur (l Gonzalez)
YTD W-L: 38-27
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: June 25, 1982
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 23

• Youzhny, 27, is making his first tournament appearance in eight years when he lost 1st Rd. in Mallorca
• The No. 2 Russian (behind No. 7 Davydenko) owns a 38-27 record on the season, including 23-16 on hard courts…He is 5-6 in his career in ATP World Tour finals
• Two weeks ago he rallied to defeat Janko Tipsarevic in three sets in the Kremlin Cup final in his 11th Moscow appearance… He extended the Russian title streak in Moscow to six straight years with his fifth career ATP World Tour crown …It was his third ATP World Tour final of the season after runner-up efforts in Munich (l. to Berdych) and Tokyo (l. to Tsonga)

Tsonga FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Johannesburg (d Chardy); Marseille (d Llodra); Tokyo (d Youzhny); SF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Canada (l Murray); Bangkok (l Troicki); QF: Brisbane (l Gasquet); Sydney (W/O vs Nieminen); Australian Open (l Verdasco); Rotterdam (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Djokovic); Lyon (l Clement)
YTD W-L: 51-18
YTD Titles: 3/Career Titles: 5
Date of Birth: April 17, 1985
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 9
• Tsonga, 24, the top-ranked Frenchman at No. 9, is making his tournament debut in Valencia
• Four weeks ago he captured his third ATP World Tour title of the season in Tokyo, defeating Russian Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets…He has a 5-1 career mark in ATP World Tour finals
• He has compiled a career-best 51-18 match record on the year, including 39-12 on hard courts
• In August at the Rogers Cup in Montreal he defeated ATP World Tour No. 1 Federer in QF before losing to eventual champion Murray
• In the first three months he advanced to seven quarterfinals (or better) in eight tournaments en route to a 25-5 match record and since April is 26-13
• In February, captured ATP World Tour titles in Johannesburg (d. Chardy) and Marseille (d. No. 3 Djokovic in SF, Llodra in F), defeating countrymen in both finals
• He opened the first month by reaching quarter-finals in Brisbane (l. to Gasquet), Sydney (W/O due to back vs. Nieminen) and the Australian Open (d. No. 10 Blake in 4th Rd., l. to Verdasco)
• Fell out of the Top 10 (from 7 to 14) after his ’08 Australian Open runner-up points came off on Feb. 2 but returned on Apr. 27 and was No. 7 every week from July 27-Oct. 12

(Q) Alberto Martin (ESP) vs Feliciano Lopez (ESP) Martin Leads 2-1
04 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R128 Alberto Martin       3-6 4-6 7-6(3) 6-4 6-2
07 Valencia (Spain) Clay R32 Alberto Martin 6-2 3-6 6-2
08 Barcelona (Spain) Clay R32 Feliciano Lopez 3-6 6-2 6-4

Martin FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
QF: Costa Do Sauipe (l Robredo)
YTD W-L: 7-19 (0-5 on hard)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: August 20, 1978
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 119

• Martin, 31, qualified into the main draw with two wins over the weekend... He has a 15-7 career record at the tournament, winning the title in 2001 in Mallorca (d. Coria) and reaching the semi-finals in 2004 (l. to Montanes) and quarter-finals three other times (2000, ’05, ’07)
• He owns three career ATP World Tour titles, the last one coming eight years ago in Mallorca
• The Barcelona resident has a 7-19 match record on the season, including 0-5 on hard courts...His best ATP World Tour result was the quarter-finals in Costa do Sauipe on clay in February when he lost to countryman and eventual champion Tommy Robredo
• He also has compiled a 13-9 mark in Challenger tournaments with one title, Genova, in September (d. Berlocq)

Lopez FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
SF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Shanghai (l Nadal); QF: Marseille (l Tsonga); Vienna (l Cilic)
YTD W-L: 16-22
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: September 20, 1981
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 46

• Lopez, 28, has a 1-5 career mark in Valencia, winning his only match in 2005
• The Madrid native advanced to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final in Shanghai last month when he defeated countrymen Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and No. 16 seed David Ferrer, Jurgen Melzer and No. 9 seed Robin Soderling before retiring with a right ankle injury (vs. Nadal)
• He enters with a 16-22 record on the season (10-13 on hard)…His next-best results are quarter-finals at Marseille in February (l. to Tsonga) and Vienna last week (l. to Cilic)
• He began the year ranked No. 30 and has hovered between No. 27 and No. 45 since then (currently No. 46; spent four weeks at season-high No. 27, last two coming during Wimbledon fortnight)
• Won Segovia Challenger title in August (d. Mannarino) and did not face a player in Top 100

(4) Fernando Verdasco (ESP) vs (WC) Oscar Hernandez (ESP) First ATP Meeting
Other Meetings:
02 Maia CH (Portugal) Clay QF Oscar Hernandez 6-4 4-6 6-3

Verdasco FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: New Haven (d Querrey); F: Brisbane (l Stepanek); Kuala Lumpur (l Davydenko); SF: Australian Open (l Nadal); QF: ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Federer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Djokovic); Barcelona (l Gonzalez); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Nadal); Båstad (l Monaco); US Open (l Djokovic); Beijing (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 48-20
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: November 15, 1983
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 8

• Verdasco, 25, the No. 2 Spaniard (behind No. 2 Nadal), is 12-5 lifetime in Valencia, winning the title in 2004 (d. Montanes) and reaching the semi-finals in 2006 and quarter-finals in 2005 and ‘08
• One month ago he reached his third ATP World Tour final of the season in Kuala Lumpur (l. to Davydenko)
• He has compiled a personal-best 48-20 match record (most win) this year, including 31-10 on hard
• In August, he captured his third career ATP World Tour title in New Haven (d. Querrey) and didn’t drop a set during the week…He is 3-6 in his career in ATP World Tour finals
• In the first five months of the year, advanced to the quarter-finals or better in his first eight tournaments before the streak ended with a fourth round result at Roland Garros (l. to Davydenko)…He compiled a 26-9 record through May and since June is 22-11
• In July he helped his native country to a 3-2 Davis Cup quarter-final home victory over Germany on clay…He defeated Andreas Beck in the first rubber in five sets before losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber    8-6 in the fifth set…Then followed with a quarter-final in Bastad where he retired with a right calf injury
• He opened the first month winning nine of 11 matches, reaching his first ATP World Tour hard court final in Brisbane (l. to Stepanek) and following with a Grand Slam-best semi-final at the Australian Open
• Posted back-to-back wins over No. 4 Murray in five sets in 4th Rd. and No. 6 Tsonga in the quarter-finals before falling in an epic five-set marathon to countryman and World No. 1 Nadal...Played longest singles match in tournament history (5:14) and afterwards broke into Top 10 for first time at No. 9 (from No. 15) on Feb. 2…Since then has ranked in Top 10 every week except once (Aug. 10, No. 11), reaching a career-high No. 7 on Apr. 20 and May 4

Hernandez FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
SF: Kitzbühel (l Benneteau); QF: Buenos Aires (l Acasuso); Estoril (l Capdeville)
YTD W-L: 15-26
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: April 10, 1978
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 75

• Hernandez, 31, is looking for his first win (0-3) in Valencia after early exits in 2004, 2005 and 2007
• His best ATP World Tour results of the season are SF in Kitzbuehel (l  to Benneteau) in May and QF finishes at Buenos Aires (l. to Acasuso) and Estoril (l. to Capdeville) …In 24 other ATP World Tour main draws, he reached 2nd Rd. eight times but fell 1st Rd. 16 times (incl. all four majors)
• He has a 15-26 match record on the season (1-8 on hard)
• In 2008, the Spaniard compiled his best season with a career-high 19 match wins to finish in the Top 100 for second straight year at No. 68 and fourth time in six years; enjoyed solid clay results, reaching two SF and three QF at ATP World Tour events in addition to a runner-up finish on Challenger circuit
• In 2007, reached a career-high No. 48 on Oct. 8 before finishing a year-end best No. 58

(6) Gael Monfils (FRA) vs Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) Monfils Leads 2-0
08 Casablanca (Morocco) Clay R32 Gael Monfils 6-7(8)7-5 6-0
09 Vienna (Austria) Hard R32 Gael Monfils 7-5 6-4
Other Meetings:
03 Spain F28 (Gran Canaria) Clay R32 Gael Monfils 6-2 6-2

Monfils FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Metz (d Kohlschreiber); F: Acapulco (l Almagro); SF: Doha (l Roddick); Rotterdam (l Nadal); Tokyo (l Tsonga); QF: Roland Garros (l Federer); Kuala Lumpur (l Davydenko); Vienna (l Tipsarevic)
YTD W-L: 38-17
YTD Titles: 1/Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: September 1, 1986
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 16

• Monfils, 23, the No. 3 Frenchman (behind No. 9 Tsonga, No. 12 Simon), is making his second straight appearance at Valencia (l. in 2nd Rd. last year); in the 1st Rd.Tuesday, beat Marcel Granollers 64 62
• Last week he reached his eighth QF (or better) of the year in Vienna (l. to Tipsarevic)
• On Sept. 27 he captured his second career ATP World Tour title in Metz, defeating German Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets…He has a 38-17 match record (29-13 on hard) this season
• He opened the year with a semi-final effort in Doha, defeating World No. 1 Nadal in the quarter-finals before losing to Roddick in three sets
• He broke into the Top 10 for the first time on Feb. 23 and following week made his Acapulco debut (on clay) and reached the final (l. to Almagro), his sixth straight runner-up...Afterwards, went to a career-high No. 9 on March 2…Has ranked in the Top 10 for 14 weeks this year
• In June he reached the quarter-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Federer) and followed with third round at the Queen’s Club in London…On June 11 he withdrew due to a left wrist injury he suffered in his previous round win (vs. Golubev)…He missed two months before returning in Montreal in August when he lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero in the second round
• At the US Open, he reached the fourth round for the second straight year (l. to Nadal in four sets)
• He is one of four Frenchmen to win an ATP World Tour title this year – Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (three titles) Jeremy Chardy (one) and Gilles Simon (one)

Garcia-Lopez FastFacts:
2009 Highlights:
W: Kitzbühel (d Benneteau); SF: Eastbourne (l Tursunov); QF: Johannesburg (l Gil); Delray Beach (l Korolev); Houston (l Hewitt); Stockholm (l Soderling)
YTD W-L: 27-26
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: June 4, 1983
South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking: 47

• Garcia-Lopez, 26, has a 5-6 career mark in Valencia and his best result was the quarter-finals in 2006; in the 1st Rd. on Monday he defeated German Simon Greul  75 62
• The Spaniard is compiling the best season of his career on the ATP World Tour with six ATP World Tour quarter-final or better results, including a QF in Stockholm 10 days ago (l. to Soderling)
• He enters with a 27-26 match record on the season, including 11-15 on hard courts
• He captured his first ATP World Tour title in May in Kitzbuehel, beating Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the final…He was playing in his 109th career ATP level tournament
• In June, he advanced to the semifinals on grass in Eastbourne (l. to eventual champ Tursunov)…He previously was a quarter-finalist in Johannesburg (l. to Gil) and Delray Beach (l. to Korolev) in February and Houston (l. to Hewitt) in April
• He reached a career-high No. 42 on June 22 and enters No. 47 this week

Pista 1

Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) vs Victor Hanescu (ROU)  Hanescu Leads 2-0
07 Umag (Croatia) Clay R32 Victor Hanescu 2-0 ret
09 New Haven (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Victor Hanescu 6-4 6-7(8) 6-3

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